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> After two months of intense psychological pressure, Patty was brainwashed into joining her captors and willingly participated in the robbery. To FBI investigators last week, this seemed the most likely theory. Experts on terrorism say that women victims can fall under the spell of their captors, sometimes to the point of forming quasi-love relationships. And some psychiatrists believe that Patty's taped messages indicate that she is not a strong personality and might have been swayed under the strain and terror she has had to endure. Support for that conjecture came last week from Bank Guard Shea, who said: "If she was being coerced, she was doing a damn good job of acting." At one point, according to Shea, Patty cried, "Lie down or I'll shoot your mother—— heads off!" He has no doubt that she meant it. "She had the authoritative voice, the stance and the will to do it," he says. Moreover, bank photographs not released by the FBI show Patty moving about the bank lobby, actively pointing her gun at people, and giving orders. But it is so far simply unknowable whether Patty's rifle was operable (even though it had a clip of cartridges in firing position) or whether she had been threatened with death if she did not act like a willing participant. Another, even darker variant of this theory is that Patty was enslaved by addicting her to heroin, though the S.L.A. abjured any use of hard drugs in its "code of war."
No Structure. The long weeks with no break in the case have led to friction between the law enforcement agencies involved in it. State investigators privately criticize the FBI for adopting "a timid approach" to the kidnaping. The bureau admittedly has followed its established practice of moving cautiously in kidnapings so as not to jeopardize the victim, and it continues to regard Patty as a victim, not a member of the S.L.A. But FBI officials challenged the charge that they were overly cautious. "We've practically turned Berkeley over," said John Kelley, assistant special agent in charge of the investigation. Yet he frankly admits: "We don't know where Patty Hearst is."
Agents have found information about the S.L.A. tough to come by. It took 150 of them more than two months, piecing together bits of information mined from the diverse Berkeley radical elements, to uncover the shape of the S.L.A. and the identities of the nine suspects. The reason for the difficulty is the Symbionese Liberation Army's small and communal organization. Explains one federal law enforcement official: "It has no visible national structure to attack. Against a commune, conventional informants are totally ineffective."
After the robbery, teams of agents made a door-to-door search of San Francisco's Sunset district and continued to comb through the entire Bay Area. Their working assumption was that the S.L.A. had several "safe houses" in the area where members could hide out, meet, plan and disband, once again melting into the radical scene. Agents also assumed that the group was so anonymous that lesser-known members, such as Camilla Hall and Angela Atwood, can be sent